Night vision monoculars – Buying guide & Comparison
Night vision is not something that we biped mammals are known for having too much of. We barely manage to go through familiar places, such as our own bedroom, and we still can trip over the doorstep or bump into a wall. Can you imagine being outside, blind as a bat? Sure, a flashlight would work, but it can only light up what’s in front of you, unlike a night vision monocular which can make you see like a one-eyed cat. We scouted through night vision monocular reviews, and we found that the FLIR Systems Scout III-240 is the best thermal monocular for the money. Besides allowing you to see at night, this monocular is capable of detecting heat signatures of people, animals, and terrain, making it ideal for hunting, camping, land management or other outdoor activities. If you find that this product is unavailable for purchase, look for the ATN OTS HD 384.
We’re living in a day and age when the choices are plentiful, regardless of what we’re looking for. Even if you’re looking for something that might seem to be on a niche market, such as finding a good night vision monocular, you might still feel baffled sorting through models, item numbers or different characteristics. Luckily, we’ve come to your help in finding the best night vision monocular for sale with this comprehensive buying guide, which is based on ratings and reviews.
Thermal imaging or light amplification
In order to choose the monocular suitable for your purposes, you should know that there are two methods which we can use in order to gain night vision. By using thermal imaging means that we can see or measure the amount of heat that people, animals or objects emit. The devices that use thermal imaging don’t work with optics, but with a type of sensor called microbolometer. This sensor can tell the difference between the temperature of an object and its environment, after which the data is displayed on a screen for the user to see. It doesn’t need light to work, and this technology is called FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared).
On the other hand, light amplification is different. It doesn’t concern itself with heat; instead, it amplifies the amount of light available, and by doing this the monocular can provide an image of an object clearer at night than what you would otherwise see. In other words, it works like a magnifying glass.
You can safely assume that you’ll need to take care of a night vision monocular regardless of the type of technology it uses. Because both thermal imaging and light amplification monoculars can break. You should take additional steps to ensure that you will be able to enjoy your device for years to come. Firstly, try purchasing a protective case for storage when you don’t plan to use the monocular, just remember to take out the batteries first. Lens covers are there for a reason, remove them only when you use the device. You should also consider adding an extra protective layer for your optic mechanisms, such as a glass filter which can help in protecting the lens from debris or damage.
Again, you should opt for quality regardless of the type of night vision monocular you choose. Regarding thermal imaging devices, you should take a closer look when it comes to resolution. Remember that along with the increasing number of pixels you’ll have to pay an increasing amount of pennies.
Basic thermal imaging monoculars provide a resolution of only 240 x 180 pixels by square inch, although you’ll be able to see a decent image. High-end products can have a resolution 640 x 480 pixels, which is recommended when it comes to handheld devices.
With light amplifying monoculars, the process of finding the quality isn’t as easy as counting pixels. Firstly, you should consider which generation your desired product should be (there are three) because each provides different technological qualities. Another way of determining the caliber of this type of device is by paying attention to its image intensifier tube.
The resolution provided by it is measured in lines per millimeter (lp/lpm). Most people prefer a resolution of 45 lpm, thinking it will be enough, although there are many claiming that the ideal resolution should find itself somewhere between 64-72 lpm.
Experts advise against adding subpar eyepieces or objectives to a top-notch image intensifier tube, although you might see it as a cheaper way of enjoying a good product. You should buy high-quality parts in order to enjoy a high-quality experience.
Top night vision monoculars reviews in 2017
If time is of your essence on your quest of finding the right night vision monocular, then feel free to consider the three items we have showcased below. These are the options we recommend after sorting through ratings and reviews. Take a look.
FLIR Systems Scout III-240
The Scout III-240 is a compact thermal night vision monocular designed to offer a great experience on your next adventure in the great outdoors. Why is that? Well, for starters, it enables advanced imaging processing and enhanced performance with imaging that spans between 30Hz and 60Hz.
This monocular is able to capture and display the heat signatures of animals, humans and even terrain up to 1200 yards.
Then, the data is displayed on a 640×480 pixel LCD screen which has a better scene contrast than light amplification night vision, making it ideal to use in different outdoor activities such as hunting, camping, land management or good, quality recreation.
You won’t need to go through training in order to enjoy this product because it is quite simple to use. It starts up quickly, in a manner of seconds, it has an easy to understand menu (Power, Polarity, Zoom and LCD Brightness) and it features Freeze Frame.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($1399.9)
ATN OTS HD 384
This monocular allows you to gain clear vision in total darkness through the ability of its powerful thermal sensor that has the ability to capture the heat emitted by different objects, such as people, animals or other stationary things. The heat data is subsequently displayed with 384×288 pixel HD resolution.
Let’s say that you are on a hunt and you need to know how many feet are between you and your prey. Well, thanks to the Smart Rangefinder feature, this thermal monocular is able to accurately measure the precise distance by using the built-in rangefinder.
Other cool features are the 3D Gyroscope, the E-compass, and the E-zoom. You will have a sharp, clear image because the gyroscopic image stabilization is designed to reduce natural hand shakiness.
Some people get lost in the wild, especially at night. You will be able to keep your bearings because the E-compass will help you stay on the track. Finally, the E-zoom is a neat feature that guarantees a still focus on distant points of interest with great clarity.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($1614.99)
SOLOMARK Night Vision
If you’re the kind of person who has a hobby that tends to go late into the night, such as nighttime hunting, wildlife observation or perhaps you’re an amateur speleologist, and you like to explore caves then maybe you’d be interested in this model as it is a great gadget that allows you to walk through complete darkness with confidence.
Among its features you will find multi-coated glass objectives (ideal for lens protection), high sensitivity sensor, an in integrated LCD screen that reads out the data and a 7-level infrared LED illuminator. You will be able to see through pitch black darkness at the desired brightness up to 100 meters (328 feet).
You can also record videos or take photos, which you can later add to your computer for you to share with your family and friends.
You can easily mount it on a tripod or store it in a bag and don’t worry about it slipping from your hands because its outface is covered by rubber, which allows it to gain more friction.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($136.99)
Every person looking for a night vision monocular is searching for one that can be used quickly and easily at a moment’s notice, and with its compactness and its lightweight, this product is capable of doing exactly that.
This item allows you to see clearly through the darkness with up to 3 times magnification power. The high magnification that it provides enables it to provide obtain a better image resolution and a clearer view of targets that present themselves at a considerable distance.
It comes with an infrared illuminator that permits clear viewing even in pitch black darkness up to 100 meters (328 feet), making it ideal for a great variety of activities that occur at night, such as nighttime observation, surveillance and others.
This nighttime monocular can be mounted on a tripod for recording or taking pictures, and the images can be observed on your television or transferred on your computer.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($132.99)
Night Owl iGen
This device is ideal for adventurous people that like to immortalize their memories while camping, hiking, sailing, hunting and so on. It comes with an ability to amplify light that is adjustable from 300x up to 10000x, it has a variable frame rate and three infrared modes.
It can capture video day or night, the video composite output allowing it to directly record to external devices by using a composite video cable. The pictures are captured in black and white, their format is JPEG or TIFF and they can be stored on the memory card that comes with this product.
You can adjust the wattage automatically according to varying levels of darkness. The intensifier tube technology has a sensitivity that is doubled through enhanced infrared sensitivity.
The ocular lens is adjustable to fit any particular eyesight, and the objective lens allows for focus adjustment in proportion to the distance of the object you are viewing.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($484.74)